What's a fun idiom that you've learned recently?

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DaveAgain
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Re: What's a fun idiom that you've learned recently?

Postby DaveAgain » Tue Nov 21, 2023 5:49 am

jemandem die Schuld in die Schuhe schieben > put the blame in someone's shoe > accuse/frame someone of wrongdoing
Diese Redensart stammt aus den Zeiten der fahrenden Gesellen, die gemeinsam in Schlafsälen zu schlafen pflegten. Hatte nun einer etwas gestohlen und fürchtete die Entdeckung, konnte er seine Beute - beispielsweise Geldstücke - in die Schuhe eines Kameraden schieben, um diesen verdächtig zu machen

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Doitsujin
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Re: What's a fun idiom that you've learned recently?

Postby Doitsujin » Tue Nov 21, 2023 8:30 am

DaveAgain wrote:dort liegt der hund begraben > that is where the dog is buried > that is the most important/difficult point

https://www.redensarten-index.de/suche. ... rianten_ou
Well-read Germans might also say "des Pudels Kern sein" [=to be the core of the poodle], which is a reference to Goethe's Faust.
The origin of this idiom and many other frequently used German animal idioms can be found on this ARD Alpha website.
Even more frequently used idioms can be found on the Geolino Redewendungen website.
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DaveAgain
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Re: What's a fun idiom that you've learned recently?

Postby DaveAgain » Wed Nov 29, 2023 2:39 pm

die Kuh vom Eis holen > get the cow off the ice > find a solution to the problem.

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DaveAgain
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Re: What's a fun idiom that you've learned recently?

Postby DaveAgain » Fri Dec 01, 2023 10:41 am

aus einer / jeder Mücke einen Elefanten machen > make a fly into an elephant > make a fuss over minor things

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An English parallel would be 'to make a mountain out of a molehill'.
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Dragon27
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Re: What's a fun idiom that you've learned recently?

Postby Dragon27 » Fri Dec 01, 2023 10:53 am

DaveAgain wrote:aus einer / jeder Mücke einen Elefanten machen > make a fly into an elephant > make a fuss over minor things

Also exists in Russian: делать из мухи слона. The wiktionary article points to a Latin proverb "elephantem ex musca facere", recorded in Paraphrases of Erasmus (1523), as the origin. Interestingly enough, the English expression is closely associated to the "an elephant out of a fly" one through a translation of the abovementioned Paraphrases of Erasmus by Nicholas Udall. From the wiki page on the English idiom:
The idiom is found in Nicholas Udall's translation of The first tome or volume of the Paraphrase of Erasmus vpon the newe testamente (1548) in the statement that "The Sophistes of Grece coulde through their copiousness make an Elephant of a flye, and a mountaine of a mollehill." The comparison of the elephant with a fly (elephantem ex musca facere) is an old Latin proverb that Erasmus recorded in his collection of such phrases, the Adagia, European variations on which persist. The mountain and molehill seem to have been added by Udall and the phrase has continued in popular use ever since. If the idiom was not coined by Udall himself, the linguistic evidence above suggests that it cannot have been in existence long.
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Re: What's a fun idiom that you've learned recently?

Postby tommus » Fri Dec 01, 2023 2:09 pm

Dutch: van een molshoop een berg maken >>> make a mountain out of a molehill
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Re: What's a fun idiom that you've learned recently?

Postby SalzSäule » Fri Dec 01, 2023 4:03 pm

die Faxen dicke haben - yet another way of saying "to have had enough" in German.
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Re: What's a fun idiom that you've learned recently?

Postby Dragon27 » Fri Dec 08, 2023 12:17 pm

für die Katz sein - for nothing, worthless, lit. (to be) for the cat.
Die ganze Arbeit war für die Katz. - All the work was for nothing.
I found it funny, because we have a similar expression "(пойти) коту под хвост" (lit. "(to go) under the cat's tail"). The phrase above could be translated as "Вся работа пошла коту под хвост".
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Re: What's a fun idiom that you've learned recently?

Postby Khayyam » Sun Dec 10, 2023 2:53 am

German, from Simplicius Simplicissimus by Grimmelshausen: "ein Sparren zu viel oder zu wenig" zu haben. To have one rafter too many or too few, like a building that was built wrong. Seems to mean the same thing as "a few cards short of a deck," etc. I found it charming because it acknowledges that an extra rafter would be just as indicative of faulty workmanship as a missing one. There are of course lots of English idioms which use the "a few [components] short of a [complete assembly]" formula to indicate that someone's a little wacky, but it's equally logical to speak of fouling up a finely tuned assembly by adding superfluous components, no? Thank you, Germans.

I wonder what would happen if I simply imported this idea into English and started applying it to our idioms for cray-cray. "That guy sure has an extra card in his deck..."
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